10 Holiday Safety Tips for Dog Owners

As Valentine’s Day and Easter approach, it’s important to keep your dog’s safety in mind, especially if you like to celebrate with candy, rich foods, and flowers. These holidays bring unique challenges and potential hazards for our canine companions. At University Veterinary Hospital in Shreveport, LA, we want to help you navigate these holidays safely with your dog. For more detailed advice or to schedule an appointment, feel free to reach out to us at (318) 797-5522.

holiday dog safety in Shreveport, LA

Navigating Valentine’s Day and Easter with Your Dog

These holidays are a favorite for those of us with a sweet tooth, but sweets aren’t the only health concern for your pet. 

Valentine’s Chocolates and Sweets

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolates and sweets, which are harmful to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Additionally, xylitol, a common sweetener in sugar-free candies, can be deadly. Always keep these treats out of your dog’s reach.

Easter Lilies and Other Toxic Plants

During Easter, lilies often adorn homes but are extremely toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure if ingested. Other plants like tulips and daffodils can also be harmful. Opt for pet-safe plants or artificial flowers to keep your dog safe.

Decorations and Small Objects

Easter decorations, including plastic eggs and Easter grass, can cause intestinal blockages if your dog ingests them. Valentine’s Day decorations, like ribbons and balloons, pose similar risks. Keep these items away from your pet to prevent accidental ingestion.

Ensuring a Safe Holiday Atmosphere for Your Dog

If you have lots of family over around Easter, make sure your home and your pet are well prepared.

Managing Holiday Stress and Anxiety

The excitement and bustle of holidays can be overwhelming for dogs. Provide a calm, quiet space for your dog to relax away from the noise and activity. This can help reduce their stress and anxiety. Some dogs can be crate trained and will retreat to the calmness of their crate if the laughter and conversation around them becomes too much. Otherwise, you can create a cozy corner or set aside a separate room where your pet can relax. 

Holiday Foods and Dog Safety

Aside from chocolates and sweets, other holiday foods can be harmful to dogs. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, while bones can lead to choking or digestive tract obstructions. It’s best to stick to your dog’s regular diet during these holidays.

Safe Dog Treats and Toys

Instead of sharing holiday treats with your dog, offer them dog-safe treats or toys. This allows your dog to join in the festivities without risking their health.

Preparing for Valentine’s and Easter Celebrations with Your Dog

Every dog is different; some may enjoy the extra attention from guests, while others may not. Be attentive to your dog’s body language and ensure they feel comfortable and safe during your holiday gathering. 

Traveling Safely with Your Dog

If your holiday plans include traveling with your dog, make their safety and comfort a priority. Secure them in your vehicle and take regular breaks for exercise and bathroom needs. Make sure your dog is securely leashed if you need to make a stop.

Cold Weather Considerations

For those celebrating in colder climates, keep your dog warm and dry. Be cautious of ice-melting chemicals and ensure your dog’s paws are cleaned after walking outside to prevent ingestion of toxic substances.

Emergency Situations and Your Dog

Know the signs of an emergency in your dog, such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, or sudden changes in behavior. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.

Keeping Important Contacts Accessible

Have the contact information for your veterinarian, the nearest emergency veterinary clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center readily available. Quick action can be crucial in an emergency!

Valentine’s Day and Easter are times for celebration, and with these tips, you can ensure your dog stays safe and happy during these holidays. If you have any concerns or need further advice about your dog’s health and safety, please call us at University Veterinary Hospital in Shreveport, LA, at (318) 797-5522.

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About University Veterinary Hospital

UVH has a phenomenal team of veterinarians and specialists available to meet all your pet’s needs. From the moment you walk through our doors, you will be met with friendly faces and warm greetings from our wonderful front desk team, and then ushered into an exam room to meet with your veterinarian. We are deeply invested in your pet’s longevity and happiness, and in your satisfaction.